Tuarasgabháil ón gCoiste ar Artiogail na hAireachta den Bhille um Bun-reacht Shaorstáit Eireann.
(Report of Committee on Executive Articles of Constitution of Saorstát Eireann Bill.)
This Committee was appointed by resolution of the Dáil, moved by Deputy Wm. Thrift, and adopted on the 6th October, 1922, in the following terms :—
(a) “That this House approves as a general principle, of the proposal that certain Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council, nominated by the Dáil, and individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the departments respectively under their charge, need not be members of the Dáil, and that the details of the provisions for appointing such Ministers and for regulating their position should be referred to a Committee of the House, to be nominated by the Ministry, for consideration and report to the House. That the consideration of their Report should come before the House later, whilst in Committee on the present Bill.”
TERMS OF REFERENCE.
(b) “To arrange the details of the provisions for appointing Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council, and need not be members of the Dáil, but shall be nominated by the Dáil, and shall be individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively under their charge; further, to make such consequential changes as may be necessary in Articles 50B to 59, inclusive, of the Draft Constitution; the Committee to consist of Deputies Fitzgibbon, Thrift, Johnson, Davin, Gavan Duffy, O’Connell, Gorey, McGoldrick, Sears, and MacCarthy; the Quorum to be 5, and the Committee to have power to examine witnesses, and to report to the Dáil not later than Wednesday, the 11th October.”
REPORT OF COMMITTEE.
We have re-cast Articles 50B to 59 inclusive, of the Draft Constitution, in accordance with our instructions. We considered that the terms of our reference precluded us from considering Article 58. We append a draft of the new clauses recommended by us for the consideration of the Dáil. The alterations recommended by us will, if adopted by the Dáil, necessitate the following verbal alterations in clauses which were not included in the reference to us, and which have already been passed by the Dáil.
In line 2 of Article 35 the word “Estimates” should be substituted for the word “Budget.”
In line 6 of the same Article the words “Financial Resolutions” should be substituted for the word “Budget.”
In Article 50A the words “seven or less than five” should be substituted for the word “twelve.”
We recommend the insertion in the Constitution of an Article to the followi effect:—
“Ministers shall have the right to attend and speak in the Senate/ “Seanad.”
The foregoing report is unanimous, save that Deputy Gavan Duffy desires to record his dissent from so much of Article 56 as prescribes the taking of an oath by any person who is not a member of the Oireachtas.
Signed on behalf of the Committee.
10adh Deire Foghmhair, 1922.
To add at end of 50A. after “Representative of the Crown,” “on the nomination of the President of the Executive Council.”
The Executive Council shall all be members of the Chamber/Dáil and shall include the President of the Council, the Vice-President of the Council and the Minister in charge of the Department of Finance.
The President of the Council shall be appointed on the nomination of the Chamber/Dáil. He shall nominate a Vice-President of the Council, who shall act for all purposes in the place of the President if the President shall die, resign, or be permanently incapacitated, until a new President of the Council shall have been elected. The Vice-President, shall also act in the place of the President during his temporary absence.
The other Ministers who are members of the Executive Council shall be appointed on the nomination of the President, and he and the Ministers nominated by him shall retire from office should he cease to retain the support of a majority in the Chamber/Dáil, but the President and such Ministers shall continue to carry on their duties until their successors shall have been appointed. Provided, however, that the Parliament/Oireachtas shall not be dissolved on the advice of an Executive Council which has ceased to retain the support of a majority in the Chamber/Dáil.
The Executive Council shall be collectively responsible for all matters concerning the Departments of State administered by Members of the Executive Council. The Executive Council shall prepare estimates of the receipts and expenditure of the Irish Free State for each financial year, and shall present them to the Chamber/Dáil before the close of the previous financial year. The Executive Council shall meet and act as a collective authority.
Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council and who may or may not be members of Parliament/Oireachtas, may be chosen by the Chamber/Dáil to assist the Executive Council from amongst all citizens eligible for the Chamber/Dáil. Any Minister so chosen, who shall at the time of his appointment be a member of the Senate/ Seanad shall, by virtue of his appointment, vacate his seat in the Senate/Seanad. The total number of Ministers, of whom a majority shall be members of the Chamber/Dáil, shall not exceed twelve, including the members of the Executive Council.
Ministers who are not members of the Executive Council shall be nominated by the Chamber/Dáil on the recommendation of a Committee of the Chamber/Dáil, chosen by a method to be determined by the Chamber/Dáil, so as to be impartially representative of the Chamber/Dáil. Should a recommendation not be acceptable to the Chamber/Dáil the Committee shall continue to recommend names until one is found acceptable.
Ministers who are not members of the Chamber/Dáil shall, by virtue of their office, possess all the rights and privileges of a member of the Chamber/ Dáil, except the right to vote, and shall, if not members of the Parliament/ Oireachtas, comply with the provisions of Article 17, as if they were members of the Chamber/Dáil, and may be required by the Chamber/Dáil to attend and answer questions.
Every Minister who is not a member of the Executive Council shall be the responsible head of the Department or Departments under his charge, and shall be individually responsible to the Chamber/Dáil alone for the administration of the Department or Departments of which he is the head. Provided that should arrangements for Functional or Vocational Councils be made by the Parliament/Oireachtas these Ministers or any of them may, should the Parliament/Oireachtas so decide, be members of and be recommended to the Chamber/Dáil by such Councils. The term of office of any Minister, not a member of the Executive Council, shall be the term of the Chamber/Dáil existing at the time of his appointment, but he shall continue in office until his successor shall have been appointed, and no such Minister shall be removed from office during his term otherwise than by the Chamber/ Dáil itself, and by them for stated reasons, and after the proposal to remove him has been submitted to a Committee, chosen by a method to be determined by the Chamber/Dáil, so as to be impartially representative of the Chamber/Dáil, and the Committee has reported thereon.
The appointment of a member of the Chamber/Dáil to be a Minister shall not entail upon him any obligation to resign his seat or to submit himself for re-election.
Ministers/Airi shall receive such remuneration as may from time to time be prescribed by law, but the remuneration of any Minister shall not be diminished during his term of office.